Maharashtra: BJP leaders to meet Governor, govt formation on cards

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Government formation is on the cards in Mahrashtra as BJP leaders are set to meet governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday (November 7) even though Shiv Sena had not assured its support and the NCP has chosen to remain in the opposition.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has not received any proposal from the BJP on government formation, party leader Sanjay Raut said on Wednesday (November 6) even as the BJP leaders are set to meet the Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to form the government.

“We met Maharashtra Governor, Republican Party of India’s Ramdas Athawale also met him. And if BJP leaders are meeting Governor tomorrow, to stake claim then they should form govt as they are the single largest party, we have been saying it,” Raut told mediapersons outside Raj Bhavan in Mumbai.

The tenure of the present Assembly ends in two days and a special three-day session of the House may be convened next week to swear in the new MLAs, sources told news agency PTI.

Sources from both parties said back channel talks are on between the two old but often-feuding Hindutva allies and a breakthrough is expected. “We expect a breakthrough. If all goes well we can have a government by November 9,” a source, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Government formation in Maharashtra has been in a limbo ever since the assembly election results were announced on October 24. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance which has got the the voters’ mandate, were yet to form the government as the Sena has been demanding 50-50 partnership in chief minister’s post.

Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar asked the BJP and Shiv Sena to form the government in Maharashtra at the earliest. He asserted that the NCP and Congress will work as a “responsible opposition”.

Addressing a press conference after meeting Raut, Pawar ruled out joining the Thackeray party in government with the outside support of the Congress. “The BJP and Shiv Sena have been in alliance for 25 years, and they will come together sooner or later,” he said.

“Since the Congress-NCP alliance did not cross the 100 seat mark, we will work as a responsible opposition,” Pawar said. Noting that the BJP and Shiv Sena have got the mandate to rule, he said, “They should form the government at the earliest and not allow the state to slip in a constitutional crisis. They should allow us to fulfill the mandate assigned to us by people.”

Pawar also dismissed speculations that he may return as the state’s chief minister. “I have been the chief minister four times and have no interest again,” he said.

The NCP on Tuesday said a political alternative can be worked out in the state if the Shiv Sena declared that it had snapped ties with the BJP.

There has been no headway in government formation after results of the state polls were declared on October 24. The term of the existing state Assembly expires on November 9.

The Sena had called off a meeting to hold formal talks with the BJP on October 29 after the chief minister rejected Thackeray’s claims that a formula had been agreed upon on equal sharing of power. Amidst this BJP leader Sanjay Raut reiterated that the state’s next chief minister will be from his party.